By Latonya Linton
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Discussions are well advanced for the expansion of the arrangement between Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCCL) and the government of Venezuela, under the PetroCaribe Trade Compensation Mechanism, for the supply of more clinker from Jamaica.
Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell, closed the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. JIS Photo
“This expansion requires that CCCL will supply Venezuela with an additional 240,000 tons of clinker (cement product at the intermediate stage) over a further 18 months. The extended deal will be valued at approximately US$20.5 million,” minister of science, technology, energy and mining, Phillip Paulwell said, as he closed the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Paulwell also noted that the applicable Jamaican dollar equivalent will be paid directly to CCCL by the PetroCaribe Development Fund (PDF), and will be applied toward partial debt repayment, consistent with the government’s existing debt repayment obligations under the financing arrangements of the PetroCaribe energy accord initiative.
He explained that the initial clinker deal required that CCCL export approximately 100,000 tonnes of clinker to Venezuela, and was valued at some US$8.5 million.
“Therefore, the total package at the end of the extended 18-month period will be valued at approximately US$29 million,” Paulwell said.
The minister noted that the programme is designed to support Venezuela’s objective to build two million houses over a seven-year period to alleviate its severe housing deficiency, while boosting employment in the construction sector.
“It should be noted that this trade mechanism with Venezuela can serve as a catalyst to expanded trade relations between our two countries. Apart from cement, that country’s economy has real and potential demand for a wide range of products that our manufacturers and producers can satisfy,” Paulwell said.
He added that the ministries of industry, investment and commerce; foreign affairs and foreign trade; and finance and planning will be working closely with the private sector to facilitate further opportunities under the trade 60compensation mechanism.